Clemson only has one loss, but may be in a situation in which it doesn’t make the College Football Playoff with a loss to Virginia Tech. And that’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Tigers. The Tigers are a -10 point favorite at 5 Dimes Sportsbook for the ACC championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
since Clemson’s first loss to Pitt a few weeks ago, they have seemingly figured things out and gotten rid of their inconsistencies. Then again, that could change in this one. This is still the same Clemson team that barely beat Troy and should’ve lost to NC State. But if they put in a similar effort as a week ago in a huge win over South Carolina, the Hokies will be sent packing.
In head coach Justin Fuente’s first season, Virginia Tech has made quite the jump to the top of the Coastal division. Sure, they weren’t terrible a year ago, but they’re now finding ways to win Games. There’s been some slipups (Syracuse, Georgia Tech losses), which is normal in the ACC, but the Hokies have nice wins over UNC, Pitt and Notre Dame.
Tech’s defense has been good, but going against Clemson will be a little different. Not to mention, VT has allowed points to better offenses like Pitt and Notre Dame.
The Tigers are cruising right now and could easily post another 40-point Game in this one. Deshaun Watson has a turnover problem, but he can also be really good at times as seen in his six-touchdown day against South Carolina. Watson has 34 TDs on the year (14 INTs) to go with 444 rushing yards and Four more touchdowns. With Mike Williams making plays on the receiving end, these two are hard to beat for any college defense.
What will push Clemson over the edge is running back Wayne Gallman that has picked it up in recent Games, running for 100-plus in two straight after not surpassing 85 in the previous Four. Gallman’s success will keep the defense honest and keep the clock moving if Clemson gets out to an early lead.
Another interesting factor is the Clemson defense. The Tigers gave up 43 points to Pitt, but have allowed just 20 points in the three Games surrounding that loss. They can be really good against bad offenses, but have given up points to elite ones.
Virginia Tech may not have an elite offense, but they are pretty good. Quarterback Jerod Evans, who does almost everything, leads the Hokies. He has 26 touchdowns to only five interceptions, but more importantly leads the team in rushing with 713 yards and eight more touchdowns. Of course, that’s also a bad thing as they haven’t gotten much out of their RBs.
Travon McMillian has the best numbers on the season, but he has just six carries in the last two Games. The Hokies have switched it up the last couple Games and gone with more of a committee approach. Whether that makes a difference in a Game they’ll need to Scorepoints in, remains to be seen.
Virginia Tech can score, but will it be enough against this Clemson offense?
The Tigers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven neutral site Games, but 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Hokies are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral site Games and only 1-4 ATS in their last five following a straight-up win. These teams last played in 2012, and the under has hit in five of the last six meetings between them with the underdog going 4-1 ATS in their last five.
Our Pick – Clemson -10